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Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Who the Hell are YOU?

A normal morning at NLHS.

Normal for me means getting in at 7:00.  Most staff and all students are warmly wrapped up in their fetid pits, but TSB has to be in nice and early, to prepare the school for the 8:45 start when the students amble in at their usual glacier pace.

Our kids walk faster than this ...JUST

I have to check which of my weak and malingering colleagues have decided to take the day off, and to arrange cover for their classes.

The excuses I get given by these poor souls vary.

My Mum just passed away (sympathy, but I try to convey the bad timing.. Couldn't they arrange the passing during the holidays?)
Aww, sorry.  Get back to work.

  • My son/daughter/partner/hamster has a runny nose, and I don't feel I should leave them alone. (Why not?  Is your presence going to make them feel better?  Just leave them with a TV cartoon/Barbie Doll/glass of malt/bowl of nuts.  They don't need mollycoddling, for goodness sake)
  • Having to attend Jury Service (Why?  Couldn't they just send in the guilty verdict by email?

  • Going on a training course they have forgotten to mention to me (FFS, they should be sent on a course on Memory Strategies (during a weekend of course) to help the poor bugger in remembering to tell me the day before)
  • I've got to take my dog to the vet (Bloody Hell man, I thought Kiwis were hard.  Couldn't they just rip off the dog's bollocks with their bare teeth like the sheep cockies do?)

However, I digress.

As I walked towards the admin block, at my usual brisk pace, exhibiting a tall, erect military posture, I noticed something odd.

I very rarely notice something nice at NLHS.  I do remember the mother of one of my year 11 boys at a Learning Conference (the newfangled bloody name for parent's night) who was very, very nice.  But not often.

This was very nice.

I must admit that I very often notice something odd at NLHS.

I notice Colin the Groundsman meandering in his usual wobbling manner (tie your f*cking boots man, that's why they invented shoelaces for f*ck's sake) toward wherever it is he'll be hiding from everyone for that day.  It's no use shouting at him, he's got a pair of extra-padded ear muffs with integral radio permanently glued to his ears, so he won't even notice a Richter 8 earthquake, unless it ruffles the paddock.

I notice Richard [of RBB] arriving in his clapped out old motor, mumbling mispronounced Italian phrases to himself whilst whistling some very obscure (and out-of-tune) tune for his Gloria.

I notice one of the band of feral ex-students who haunt the premises, trying to scavenge food, water and the fag and cigar doubts, trying to hide behind the gym.

This time however, what I saw was extremely odd.

Odd, man weird

An old bloke, in his mid eighties I would guess, slowly ambling over the back car park towards the gym.  I should say that it is not unusual to see some of the local denizens of Nuova Lazio using the school as a public thoroughfare (and occasionally as a public toilet) at some times during the day, but rarely so early in the morning.

It was so odd, that even Colin the Groundsman stopped to stare before heading for his hide.

"Ah Well" I said to myself as I turned to head back to my office, "There's nowt so queer as folk"
(Especially the late unlamented Brendon, who was as queer as a 3 pound note and eventually left before he got charged for grooming some of our more sensitive senior students)

Ten minutes later while struggling to re-re-arrange that days relief cover (I've got to wait until the electrician comes.  Never heard that one before. ... NOT) I heard someone trying to open the doors to the admin block.

It was that old bloke again.

I talked to him ... sort of.

I talked, he talked, but no communication was established.
I asked simple questions.

"Who are you?"

"The girls aren't working"
(Thinks, what girls, is he some sort of pimp?)

"Why are you here?"

"I work here making sure the jobs get done"

"I've worked her for almost 15 years. and I don't recognise you" "Why are you here?"

"Right along that road and around the corner"


"That's where they go you know, it takes ages to get them back again"

"Get who?"

"That's my job, I've always worked here"

"What do you do?"

"That ground's not flat you  know, you've to work at it"

It dawned on me that this bloke was completely away with the fairies.
Eventually (another 5 minutes of non-communicative talk) I persuaded him to f*ck off.

One of my colleagues (who were beginning to arrive by now [the lazy buggers] phoned the cops and told them to keep an eye out for the poor old bugger.

It wasn't until much later that I suddenly realised I had made a grave error.

He would have been ideal as a relief teacher.
He wouldn't have taken any notice of the crap said to him by our kids.
He would have been talking gibberish, but the kids would just have thought that they didn't understand, a usual state of being for many of them, so no harm done there.
AND the poor old soul wouldn't have realised that he was supposed to be getting paid, and I could have pocketed the lot, about $250 each day.  I could have made a nice wee nest egg for my semi-immanent retirement.



  1. Colin had started at 5am in the dark. By 7am he had cleaned all the car parks and entrances and finally done some water blasting. Taking of his gum boots he slipped on his shoes. "I'll just go to the toilet no need to tie the laces". He rounded the corner and an earthquake made his swagger just a little more pronounced as the tall over bearing DP nearly bowled him over. His cold blue eyes seemed to look straight through Colin. Colin muttered under his breath "Bloody suits".

    1. Good try, but only half right.
      I get into NLHS before Colin about half the time, and he's never in before 7:00. My eyes are steely grey, not blue, but yes, I can see Colin referring to "Bloody Suits", even though I wear sports jacket (or a blazer sometimes) and trousers, but always with a crisply ironed white shirt.

  2. Now let me get it straight. this guy was a cat with odd coloured eyes, right?

    1. Close.
      He was an elderly hep-cat with a confused brain.

  3. The problems would have started when he felt a call of nature. How many of your kids have seen an 80-year-old indecently expose himself?

    1. The only call of nature that the old bloke would have felt would have been a strong urge to find the Wherethefuckareya tribe.
      As to your last bit, I have no idea how many, but I would hazard a guess at more than 1 but less than 16

    2. I still can't work out how to add comments of my own rather than reply to others' but I suppose in the light of recent earthquakes and falling hundredweight lumps of masonry it's not so serious....

      7.30? That's still the night before in the more louche circles of Lancaster.

      Hope the poor bugger got rounded up and sent make home.

    3. Hmmm ... strange. Blogger is doing odd things occasionally. I couldn't even add a comment to m'own blog last week, and is getting confused when I try to logon at work. I blame Google, and their insistence on proof of ID.
      At least our last quake wasn't too bad, although several major buildings in Wellington are going to be demolished as they are now unsafe.
      One of the things I really look forward to on my holidays is lying in bed until 9:00
      Oh, the sybaritic delight almost outweighs the Dour Presbyterian Guilt.

  4. Ah damn, poor old guy. Hope he's safe and not alone in someone's basement.

    1. I'm pretty sure he's okay, apart from which, very few Kiwi houses have basements, as they're built on pilings in case of the earthquakes, tsunami or floods.

      It turns out he lives with his daughter (or other way round)about 1km away, just really confused.
      Nice to hear from you BTW.

  5. Awesome blog, i always enjoy & read the post you are sharing. Thank for your very good article...!


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